Zazzle How-To: Top 17 PODs 
Thank you! We appreciate your interest in what we have to share about making money with Zazzle. Periodically, we'll be emailing exclusive information to this list and we're glad you're on it!

This time, our topic is Top 17 PODs. 

With Zazzle's virtual elimination of the Volume Bonus recently, a lot of folks are upset. Many Zazzlers are talking about finding a new POD (print-on-demand partner). Maybe you are one of them.


At PassingThru, our travel and location independence blog, we "preach" the importance of having a diverse income stream. It is a good business practice to avoid becoming dependent on one revenue-source. Currently, we have 12 income streams; not all are PODs.


This latest news from Zazzle got us thinking. What are the other POD options out there? What would we look for in a new POD?


To answer the two questions above, we put together a comparative spreadsheet of "top" 17 PODs (FREE pdf download here) that let you sell your designs and make money. The POD detail summary uses the characteristics we personally would take into consideration.


Issues to consider when choosing a POD: 

  1. Is there a cost? This is the biggest issue. Some free sites give you a very limited store and Market Place (MP) presence unless you upgrade.
  2. Is there a true MP with a strong landing page?
  3. If there is an MP, how are royalty margins set?
  4. Who sets the margins inside my store?
  5. How wide is the product line? A t-shirt only site would not work well for us.
  6. How frequently do we get paid?
  7. How are we paid and what is the minimum payout amount?
  8. Is there an affiliate program for earning additional revenue?
  9. Do they sell phone cases? This is a big seller for us on Zazzle and we have several thousand designs.
  10. Are images/products tagged with keywords? The more keywords you can use, the more likely you can get found. Some PODs give you only five.
  11. Can products be personalized? This is an important competitive advantage.
  12. How many products do they have? An indication of how strong the MP competition may be.
  13. What is their estimated Internet traffic per month? Is it growing or declining? 

Top 17 PODs spreadsheet is a FREE PDF download for our newsletter subscribers. In our opinion, Zazzle is still the best POD, but there are other options. We hope this information will help you make the best decisions you can about your own business. 

Something We Just Learned:  Your tags may not be exactly what you think they are after you click the "save" button. For a long time, Zazzle has been saying don't include the product type in our tags, as in: don't waste the tag cap for a cap.


Example: We have a line of square stickers that we designed as personalized return address labels. To get them found, we included the tags Return address labels and Wedding return address labels among others. Those two power tags looked good and we published them. Checking the tags at the bottom of the product page, Return address labels was gone and Wedding return address labels was abbreviated to Wedding. We went back into "Edit" to check the tags and they were just as we left them.


Conclusion: Zazzle's system is auto-stripping tags that include product types but it doesn't change your actual tags. The only way to know would be to check the tags at the bottom of the product page. We rarely do that. Who does? In this case, we dropped the word label from each tag and the tags stuck. Not as strong as our first choices but better than they were.


Further Testing: As a test, we added Turtle wearing a cap as the power tag for a turtle t-shirt and it came out on the product page as Turtle wearing a.


We have a large number of return address labels to review before the Christmas selling season!

Sask River Closeup
As online entrepreneurs, we believe the keys to happiness are travel, simplicity and freedom. We began "Zazzling" in 2008 and achieved ProSeller that same year. Our online businesses have grown to include several Zazzle stores with nearly 60,000 products, shops on CafePress, a RedBubble site, plus a growing roster of eBooks and independent web sites. All this has enabled us to relocate from Minnesota to the Garden Island of Kauai in Hawaii.
Visit our blog, PassingThru, for details and inspiration!
Wishing you time and freedom to enjoy the journey!
Betsy and Pete

Newsletter Archive

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Premium resources for designers

Add to your free image resource list: WeGraphics.
Featured in our Zazzle How-To eNewsletter, WeGraphics has many free graphics that can be used commercially.
Or for just $7 you can get one month's access to everything. We chose the year long subscription at $69. Take a look.
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Clock Face Graphics

This is an inexpensive package of 35 transparent clock faces that we purchased and we're glad we did. We immediately doubled our number of clocks for sale by adding a face to each design.

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Public Domain Images on the Web
Public Domain Images on the Web, by Sara Jane Bennet. Sixty pages explain where to get images, copyright law, pitfalls to avoid, and how to determine if an image is public domain. Includes 34 website reviews.

How to Get Started on Zazzle

For beginning Zazzlers: How to Get Started on Zazzle: The Quick Start Guide to Making Money with Zazzle.
Be up and running in two hours or less!